The Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, mni, MFR, FNAL, last Wednesday received a report of fact- finding Committee headed by Professor Francis Egbokhare saddled with the responsibilities to look into the activities of Ave Maria University, Piyanko, Nasarawa State and Khadija University, Majia, Jigawa State.
Professor Rasheed had earlier set up the committee to look into the activities of both universities two months ago based on the observation that they were not adhering to the laws that governed their activities especially the unwholesome meddlesomeness into the institutions by their proprietors.
At the report presentation, the Vice-Chairman, Professor Yahuza Bello, who stood in for the Chairman stated that the Committee observed a plethora of issues in both institutions ranging from observed infractions about its governance and meddlesomeness on management issues, while the committee made appropriate recommendations that would not only benefit them but universities generally in the country.
In specifics, he asserted that the Committee observed the following problems in the course of carrying out their assignment: Challenge with result verification; both institutions were also found to be grossly understaffed as well as over dependence on visiting lecturers.
In addition, the Committee discovered that Khadija University’s Vice Chancellor was a Visiting Lecturer, while in Ave Maria University, one of the Deans was also a Visiting Lecturer and visits only thrice a month. To worsen the situation, most of the lecturers in both institutions were part-timers which grossly affected their duties.
He also noted that most of their Programmes had not gone through Resource Verifications which portends great danger and a cause for concern and had also not employed lecturers.
On the positive side, Professor Yahuza Bello said the Proprietor of Khadija University had invested a lot on structures while Ave Maria has a lot of potentials with the level of work done so far.
The Executive Secretary thanked the Committee on their commitment, hard work and dedication to the task and for a job well-done. He expressed delight that they were able to meet the deadline given to them and promised that the observations and recommendations in the report would be discussed at the management meeting and resolutions would soon be made on same.
The Executive Secretary had at the wake of inaugurating the Committees decried the way and manner in which the Vice-Chancellors of both universities were hired and fired by their owners. He, therefore, set up the committee to tackle the challenges of both institutions, with the mandates to find lasting solution to the problems.
He had also charged them to look at the governance and operations of the two institutions and interrogate the management staff.
The committee had as Chairman, Professor Francis Egbokhare; Vice Chairman, Professor Yahuza Bello; other members were, Professor Abdulahi Ribadu; Professor Joseph Ahaneku; while the Acting Director, Inspection and Monitoring (DIM), Mrs. Lydia Imoroa, served as the Secretary and Mr. Matuaire Yahaya, as Assistant Secretary.
In a related development, Professor Rasheed inaugurated another Committee to look into the activities of Nigeria Research and Educational Network (NgREN). He urged the Committee to do a thorough job because NgREN cannot be independent of NUC since it was domiciled in the NUC. He said that it would be unheard of that money was given to NgREN and the Executive Secretary would not be aware of how the money was spent or the modalities on how it was being utilised.
He, therefore, charged the Committee to investigate the work of NgREN and come up with a detailed report.
He said that the report must be ready in two week-time and expressed optimism of receiving same in record time.
Members of the committee included: Professor Yahuza Bello as Chairman; Professor Chinedu Nwajiuba; NUC Director, Executive Secretary Office (DESO), Mr. John Ahmadu Mairafi; Acting Director of Research Inspection and Information Technology (DRIIT), Mal. Farouk Lawal. Others were Deputy Director, Final Accounts in the Directorate of Finance and Accounts (DFA), Mr. Femi Yeye; Mr. Adewale Bakare and Pascal Eruaga, who would serve as Secretaries.